Top Five London Buying
There are things that every self-respecting property adviser should know: which flats have the best views and where the most secluded gardens lie. Then there are things you can learn after more than 25 years on the job.
‘I know the buildings where the lifts don’t work, where the porters get drunk and the tube runs underneath,’ says Stroud. ‘There are certain streets and squares where you want to be on a particular side for better sunlight. I’ve been doing this so many years now that I know where to look.’
Stroud works in a ‘slightly unorthodox’ way — happily, and for himself. ‘I get as much joy out of acquiring a £1.5 million flat as I do with a £10 million house,’ he says. ‘As long as I put my head on the pillow, knowing that my clients bought the right place at the right price, then I’m happy.’
The past year may have been ‘incredibly difficult’ for the market — but the affable and engaging Stroud saw a record number of deals — sixteen in all — celebrating his 100th transaction on 23 December. ‘Good-quality honest advice was probably needed more than any other time I’ve known in the past 30 years,’ he says of 2016. ‘Some of the prices that were being quoted were absolutely insane — a lot of what was being talked about in the press, and among other agents, was either scaremongering or complete and utter nonsense.
‘At the end of the day, London is London — it’s been incredibly resilient over the past two decades, despite what’s been thrown at it. Yes the market came off 20 per cent last year, and yes we’ve had a stamp duty hike, which has put fairly serious brakes on the market, but there has been a flight to quality.’